A proposed new electrotechnical apprenticeship standard, led by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), has received government approval today. The standard has been developed in close consultation with over 300 employers, the majority of which were small and medium sized businesses (SMEs).

Input from these employers has been crucial in making sure the standard is workable at grass roots level and can ultimately boost numbers of apprentices and training quality, providing learners with the right level of competence.

Michelle Richmond, IET director of Membership and Professional Development, said, “The Trailblazer standard has been developed by a group of employers, who have directly helped to develop the future direction of apprenticeships.

“SMEs dominate the industry, and the group that developed the standard reflected this. While they are not household names, in the main, the employers on the group are recognised in the industry for their commitment to the development of their staff and their commitment to apprenticeships.

“The vision behind the new Trailblazer standard is to increase the standard of apprentices in this sector as well as clearly signposting progression routes onto professional qualifications such as Engineering Technician and Chartered Engineer.”

Matthew Hancock, skills and enterprise minister added, “National Apprenticeship Week is designed to celebrate Apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy. We want to see Apprenticeships become the new norm for all ambitious young people, and employers who are dedicated to growing their own talent and increasing the skills base of the nation. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved this trailblazer for their commitment to Apprenticeships and Traineeships.”

The IET, with its links to business and education was asked by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, to lead the Electrotechnical Trailblazer.